Terra Nova Playscape, Hapa Collaborative & WildPlay, Richmond British Columbia, 2014

British Columbia-based LArch and urban design collaborative HAPA and WildPlay have opened a new ‘play experience’ for the city of Richmond, modeled on the landscape types on its arm of the Fraser River: intertidal foreshore, dykes, remnant sloughs, and past and present agricultural use.    An area that was once a paddock is now populated with ziplines, hill slides, and a meadow maze, and the ‘homestead’, where a farmhouse once stood, has become a 10m tall ‘treehouse’ and log jam.    

For community consultation, HAPA formed both a Big Kids Group (adults) and a Little Kids Group (children) to provide direction and feedback!

The statement of Richmond’s mayor at the Terra Nova opening is a good summation of what a ‘playscape’ must now strive to be, moving beyond yesterday’s equipment-based definition of a ‘playground’:  “…more than just a park… a community gathering place where history and nature come together with modern-day programs that respect our heritage, while supporting our goals to be a sustainable, vibrant community.”

[images by Joshua Dool photography, via hapa]

2 Responses to “Terra Nova Playscape, Hapa Collaborative & WildPlay, Richmond British Columbia, 2014”

  1. Paige Johnson said:

    Thanks for the kind words, Tom! Do send me your upcoming projects, and I’ll edit the post to honor Kevin. Behind most every great playscape is a great champion. All best, Paige

    December 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm

  2. Tom Benson said:

    We were truly excited to be a part of this project. We are working on creating a strong tie between the earth and the sky and filling it all with play…we have some very cool stuff coming in the future. I have read your blog for a long time and am honored that you included a project where we were a major contributor. I’d really like to acknowledge Kevin Connery, who championed this project in so many ways and kept in on course to the great and well used outcome that it represents.

    December 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

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